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bob dole had been the senate minority leader -- majority leader, i'm sorry, as he was a 1990's during the clinton administration or newt gingrich, i would have been able to work out this deal. whether that is the case or not, certainly, the president has a very strong argument that there is less flexibility in the house republicans now than there was during the gingrich era. >> there has been some criticism of the book. guest: i guess this person did not read the book because you
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repeatedly have themes. for example, when speaker brainer it is considering whether to except more revenue has -- when speaker boehner is considering whether to accept more revenue as the president has proposed, eric cantor goes to his office. and cantor has the ties with the tea party and boehner lays out his proposal for more revenue and steve stone breeze, who is the chief of staff to eric cantor, who is in touch with the tea partyers to say the least, i ask, how many votes do you think you could get for that additional revenue and the speaker says about 170. and he says to him, "you are crazy." that is not something you see
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very often wear a staffer tells the speaker to his face that he is crazy. kantor essentially agrees and they conclude. they only get about 50 votes for the additional revenue proposal. and this is when boehner essentially calls off any further negotiations or deal with the white house. so the force, the tea party is explicit and real. host: democratic line, institute, west virginia. caller: in west virginia, we had a governor who had a congress or house and a senate that would not work with him. therefore, he was not able to do any thing in the state of west virginia. what i have seen is a duplicate of that with this congress.
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this congress has failed to do exactly what they have sworn to do and that is to support the constitution of the united states. when you are making laws, it is not your prerogative to put your party first. host: alright. mr. woodward. guest: as i pointed out in the book, there is scene after scene where the republicans show that they will not budge on some of these things. in their view, they are adhering to the constitution. in their view, they're doing what is necessary. but the key point is that speaker boehner is at least a nominal leader of the republicans in the house and open these negotiations last year with the president. they're all kinds of offers and discusons going back and forth on this. you can see the detail and you -- you may blameahaw
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obama or you may blame the republicans or you may blame me for writing this. but this is, if you will, the performance review. this is what we used to always call the best obtainable version of the truth. host: 1 last phone call for you. south carolina. caller: please let me stay few facts and don't cut me off. host: we don't have time for a few facts. caller: first, i want to compliment mr. woodward on his book. i know he is a very intelligent man. he wrote a nice book. the facts, i want to get over this line here. first of all, want to remind everybody, for the last six
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years, they have had the majority of the senate. for the four of the last six years, the democrats have had the congress. and only -- it has only been less than two years that the republicans have had the majority. guest: that is true. at the same time, the problem has increased as we spend a trillion dollars a year more than comes and. -- then comes in. the whole point of all this is that it is not over. host: on lap one, i would like to show the viewers this picture -- on that note, i would like to show the viewers as picture in your book. the look on their faces. if you could speak to what happens next and the likelihood of these people coming together to talk again and doing more than they did last year.
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guest: ok, yes, they are not happy. this is when they vote to the president out of the meeting in his own house. sometimes political leaders rise to the occasion and do things that are not in their personal political centers for their party's interest, but in the larger national interest. and you are always looking for those leaders and those moments when they will say we have to do something here. if something is not done -- i hate to be an alarmist, but i want to be a realist. you just cannot keep doing what we have been doing. the problem is you do not know when the debt crisis finally rises to the surface and the people out in the world and in
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this country -- $16 trillion of i know you -- of uou;s out there. the u.s. may not able to make the interest payments. all of a sudden, you get a cascading explosion like can happen in financial markets and we have had stock market crashes or bond market crashes. and people will say, no, i do want to have those iou's lsi and pay more interest. interest rates are very low. -the government will have to pay hundreds of millions of more in interest. that will just add more to the problem. it is not something to think is,
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oh, that was last year. that is this minute. host: bob woodward, thank you for staying at our table and talking with our viewers. >> tomorrow, on "washington journal" william beach has the latest survey measuring americans' dependence on government. steve gonzales from the american legion talks about jobs programs for veterans. and eric trader from the washington institute discusses the latest developments in libya and egypt. watch "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> when i first came to washington, did not know what an ig did. i was doing mortgage fraud
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cases. i started a mortgage unit and i was dealing with hud. i did not really know the big picture of what an ig was doing could the first thing i did was .eet the different ig's although they are supposed to be these fears watchdogs looking out for waste, fraud and abuse -- those are the magic words written into theirs to to to agee in their statutes -- they had really become like any other governmental agency. how to preserve their budget, worried about clashing with management, worried about too much interaction with congress. it was really a goal long/along attitude. there were three different types of inspector general's. a lack of management and that
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was discouraged. a watchdog, which is in between. and a junkyard dog ultimately, when i was going to the confirmation process, i was told by senator raucous who was head of the finance committee who oversaw one of my commission hearings that i needed to be like a junkyard dog. >> neil brodsky worked to uncover fraud and abuse in the tar program. -- the tarp program. >> in 1991, the featured speaker at the event held by the nine states instituted speech on tuesday. the discussion will focus on transition to
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democracy. this is one hour and 20 minutes. >> welcome to all of you. what a thrill to be here with you and with san suu kyi. we have wonderful partners in the asian society and the blue moon society. and we have a great relationship with the state department. secretary clinton is here today. in number for colleagues are here. patrick murphy, michael kozak, and eric campbell could i would like to particularly recognize a couple of our board members.
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remember international of the three board. without her, don't think this event would have occurred. i would like to thank san suu kyi for coming. [applause]
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>> this is an extremely large and important pleasure welcoming you all here today. we welcome you and her delegation to washington. we have followed your struggle for these past two decades and have been inspired by your unwavering commitment to advancing human rights, justice in your country. secretary clinton, we are honored by your presence today. thank you for joining us, and thank you to your burma team for your leadership in strengthening u.s.-burma relations. my colleagues at the asian society are delighted to co-host today's event along with the united states institute of peace, and jim, thank you -- congratulations on your appointment as president of this association. i would love to say our relationship with aung san suu kyi goes back to the 1960's when she was living in new york city and working at the united nations. we are so glad that some many of our friends and supporters are here with us today to welcome her back to the united states.
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we have been organizing programming emphasizing regional issues as well as art exhibitions and cultural performances. since its founding in 1966 by john d. rockefeller iii. we have followed up a task force on improving u.s.-burma relations. let me conclude by saying we recognize this is a most important moment in burma's history and we are committed to continuing this work. the asia society and our partners in this effort stand ready to help. thank you. jim? [applause]
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it is my pleasure to introduce someone who needs no introduction -- secretary clinton. [applause] >> it is wonderful to be back here for this extraordinary, auspicious occasion. i want to congratulate jim marshall on becoming president. we certainly want to work with you. i also want to thank the asia society. and all who represent the commitment started in 1950's and it has very much stood the test of time. we very much look forward to working with you as well. the purpose for this gathering is quite an exciting one, because we have here an
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opportunity for someone who has represented the struggle for freedom and democracy, for human rights and opportunity, not only in her own country, but is seen as such around the world. it is wonderful to see her back in washington as a free and forceful leader that is opening up to the world in ways that would have been difficult to imagine even recently. those flickers of progress that president obama spoke of last year ago summer have been growing and strengthening in the time since. and hundreds of prisoners of conscience have been released over the past year, including some this last week. opposition political parties have been legalized.
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members have won seats in their congress. restrictions on the press and on freedom of assembly have eased. we have seen laws enacted to expand the rights of workers to form labor unions. and the government has reached cease-fires in long-running ethnic conflicts. her courage and leadership never wavered during years of house arrest and persecution. she and other prosecution leaders have joined with the new government to take the courageous step forward to drive these reforms. i have met with the president twice -- this summer in cambodia. i look forward to meeting him in new york next week for the united nations general assembly.
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at the state department, aung san suu kyi and i had a chance to talk about the work still ahead. and there is a lot of work. i think one of the important reasons for her work at this time is to remind us how much reminds -- remain still ahead. strengthening the rule of law, democratic institutions, addressing the challenges in many of the ethnic conflicts. per government and the opposition need to continue to work together to unite the country, not heal the wounds of the past, and carry the country for. it is also a bar to guarantee -- that is also key to gaurd aga
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against backsliding. there are forces that would take the country in the wrong direction if given the chance. so, we in the state department and the obama administration are certainly adverse to say that the process of reform must continue. political prisoners remain in detention. ongoing ethnic and sectarian violence continues to undermine progress toward national reconciliation, stability and lasting peace. military conflict with north korea persists. and further reforms are required to strengthen the rule law, increase transparency, and address constitutional challenges. but the united states is committed to standing with the government and the people of burma to support this progress that has begun, that is still a work in progress. we have taken steps to exchange ambassadors, and ease economic sanctions, and pave the way for american companies to invest in the country in a way that advances rather than undermines.
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we have conflict -- contact with both government and opposition leaders. our first ever ambassador to this new burma, derek mitchell, is here with us today. he and the assistant secretary kirk campbell are not only in constant communication, but ongoing consultation with many representatives of different constituencies in burma so we can provide the help and support that is necessary and appropriate. last december, i have the honor of visiting suu kyi in the house that was once her prison. we talked of many things including the challenge of moving from prison to politics. -- from protest to politics.
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that is what her country needs from her now. i know a little bit about how hard that transition can be. if it exposes you to a new sort of criticism and even attacked and requires -- and even attack and requires the pragmatic coalition-building that is the lifeblood of politics, but may disappoint the purists who upheld faith with you while you were on the outside. in the months since suu kyi locked out of house arrest and suu kyi walked out of house arrest and into the political our arena, she has proved to be unnatural, campaigning hard and staying focused on what needs to be done today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow to move her country forward. i think you are in for a great
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opportunity this afternoon, as will be many american audiences in the days ahead as she has a very generous scheduled activities. i unfortunately have to depart back to the state department, but it will be certainly a great pleasure for me now to introduce someone who is not only a nobel laureate and a hero to millions, but also a busy member of parliament and the leader of her political party. please welcome aung san suu kyi. [applause]
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>> thank you. thank you. thank you up for a very warm welcome. it is a great pleasure to see many familiar faces. i was at an asia society meeting about 40 years ago in new york. it was nothing like this. [laughter] i remember that it was interesting and there was great interest in burma, even in those days. and for my speech on u.s.-burma bilateral relations. the first, i would like to say how happy i am to be with you today, with the people of the united states. who have stood by us through our hard struggle to democracy.
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we are not yet at the end of our struggle, but we are getting their. we have passed the first hurdle, but there are many more hurdles. i hope he will be with us as we make our way to the goal for which our people have been running for 50 years. -- have been longing for for 50 years. because military dictatorship came to burma in 1962. we're now in 2012. that is half a century. that is a long, long time for people to live under a dictatorship. what we have to do in the future is not just to build democracy in burma, but to rebuild our nation in a democratic mold. we will need help from our friends to understand and appreciate the value of democracy and democratic values. speaking of u.s.-bilateral relations, bilateral relations
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are shaped by politics, and -- by geopolitics and by history, and these days by the communication revolution and globalization. the case between our two countries is particularly illustrative of geopolitics. china and india -- the two biggest powers in asia -- and we share borders with asia and southeast asia. opposition is unique. any relationship with burma must take into consideration this situation. as soon as burma started re- engaging with the united states,, or the other way around, questions were asked as to how this would impact on u.s.-china relations.
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people naturally associate u.s.-china relations with u.s.- burma relations. the remaining questions asked as to whether the united states engaged with burma -- engagement with burma was aimed at containing the influence of china in asia. this is a natural question, and one that i think, if we have to answer honestly, cannot be answered simply. because i do not think that any country could claim either the united states or china or burma that our relations have nothing to do with the relations that we have with other countries around us. it is only natural that the united states relationship with burma should have some impact on united states relations with china.
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and also that our relations with the united states would impacts to a certain degree on our relations with china. but i think that this could be taken forward in a positive fashion. it does not mean that because burma is in beijing now with the united states -- is in beijing now with the united states that the relationship with china should in any way deteriorate. also it does not mean the united states is engaging in burma. it should not be seen as a hostile step towards china. we can use our renewed situation to strengthen relations between all three countries. i will put it very simply. it would be to our advantage, the united states and china, to establish friendly relations. this would help a great deal. this is what i look forward to
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being -- this is what i look forward to. burma has had a history of preserving friendship with many different countries following different ideologies. as it was one of the first countries to recognize communist china back in the 1950's, it was also the first country had particularly warm relations with india. when we became independent, we were considered the country most likely to succeed in southeast asia. this is an honor that we have lost for the last few decades. but we think we can regain this honor with the help of our friends, including the united states. as i said, bilateral relations are affected -- not just of geopolitics, but of history. it may not come as a surprise
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that historical a u.s. relations with burma were seen in the light of education and humanitarian help rather than economic or politics. to begin with, the first american to become well-known in burma was a missionary. i can never pronounce his first name. it is a very strange name for me to pronounce. he is a missionary who came to burma in the early 19th century. i have the date somewhere. i have to look it up. he became -- he worked very hard to establish a basis for missionary work in burma. he gained enough of the confidence of the burmese court to be able to reach out to some of the prince's. he wrote the first burmese-
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english dictionary. and he was widely respected. he lived in burma many years and he died just off the coast of maine. obviously, his fate was linked to burma in many ways. 1 abu -- one of our first colleges was named after him. back in those days, we had two colleges. university college and justin college. just in college was named after the missionary i have mentioned, and it was a college founded by missionaries. so, missionary work was the way in which americans first came to burma. and missionaries engaged in a lot of educational enterprise. it was interesting that in the
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days of colonialism there was a distinct difference between the educational system introduced by american missionaries and that introduced by catholic missionaries. the great majority of christian institutions in burma were either catholic or -- i mean christian educational institutions and burma -- where other catholic or baptist. schoolsolics ran boys' ran by catholic priests, out whereas the mission set up a number of schools for girls as well as boys. b-girls schools were -- the girls schools were particularly well known. the difference between -- the girls' schools were particularly well non-.
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-- well-known. the difference between the schools was the american missionaries, they were very keen on preserving the traditional culture and manners of the people. so in the american baptist missionary schools, the girls wore burmese costume. also, there were more inclined to take up christian names. whereas, the great majority of girls who went to other schools retain their burmese names and army's costing. -- and burmese costume. the american missionaries also encouraged the preservation of burmese manners, so that the product of the abm schools were considered very proper, very well educated, but also very much aware of burmese manners of courtesy. my mother went to one of the
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schools. she went to a very famous abm school in rangoon. it was in a certain area of rain during. -- of rangoon. all that time, she was very proper, very disciplined, very precise, very elegant. [laughter] i myself went to the english methodist high-school for a number of years, which is actually american methodist, although it is called english methodist high-school. i know a lot of hymns. [laughter] it is ironic, because my mother in the day of colonialism or this custom. i went to the english methodist girls' school, i had to wear --
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-- i had to wear skirts. it was very strange. i also noticed there was less encouragement of burmese manners in the english methodist girls' school than there had been in my mother's back in 1930's, i suppose, when she was there. so come and education was very -- so, education is very closely associated with american missionaries. and also health care. i think many of you have heard of the famous dr. c. graves, the burmese surgeon -- dr. seagraves, the burmese surgeon. when i was growing up, one of the very best hospitals in burma was considered to be that run by the seventh day adventist's. we associated americans in burma more with education and
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humanitarian help rather than politics or economics or democracy. the very first books i borrowed were from the library in rangoon was also well-known. and of course, we should not overlook the importance of hollywood films and pop music. but also better great influence on the young of burma in my day. and i think it still has a lot of influence on the young in burma now, in spite of the years spent under military dictatorship, when we were cut off from almost everything outside our own country. the years of military rule ruined this relationship between burma and the united states. by the way, i think i should
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make a point of saying there are people who refer to burma as myanmar. it is entirely a matter choice. i referred to burma as burma. this is the name by which we were known when we became independent and this is the name to which i am used. but it is each individual choice which name he or she uses. relations between the two countries deteriorated. beginning in 1962, when the first military relationship took over. -- military regime took over. the first time was in 1968, but that took a couple of years. military dictatorship was once again instituted in 1962. we can say it was more or less unchanged until 2010. it is true that the caretaker
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government, the military caretaker government, it took on the name of the burma socialist party. in effect, it was very much dominated by the military. since 2010, many things have changed. i will come back to that later. there was a general phobia of the burma socialist program -- there was general xenophobia of the burma socialist program party. it was not just the united states, but the western world in general that view with suspicion by the regime led by the then-dictator.
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the -- because of the xenophobia, we lost our connection with the west. in the old days, we spent many young people to study in institutions in europe and the united states. even before independence, we had quite a number study in the united states, usually sponsored by missionary organizations. after independence we expanded our cultural and educational ties with the united states and because of the communist insurgency is that started soon after which you and the penchants -- independence, we also have relations with your country. after 1962, these relations dwindled to almost nothing. it was not just with the united states, but with the west in general that the military regime did not wish to deal. particularly after 1988. i am sure all of you know, there was a democratic uprising throughout the country in 1988
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when people i asked for a multi-party democracy. they had seen that one-party dictatorship only brought the country from the state of prosperity to one of near- poverty, where we declared one of the least developed countries in the world. as a result of the uprising, the military put down the demonstrators very brutally. with much bloodshed. the following years or some of the hardest our country has ever had to go through. it was the united states from the very beginning that stood firmly by the forces of democracy, and for this, i would like to thank all of you. because when people are in a difficult situation, we need friends. we need friends who are strong and who are committed. the united states was committed to democratic values and proved
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to be a good friend to all of those who struggle for democracy. but in the process, relations between the government's of the two countries deteriorated. less and less engagement, and here, i would like to say that i have always been for an engagement. you can engage in different ways. you can engage as friends, or you can engage as people who have agreed to disagree, and this is, to me, a sad thing, that engagement between our two countries came to almost nothing during two decades. or more. but now, the situation has changed, because of what happened in 2010. to begin with, the military
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regime was replaced by a civilian regime, elected in 2010. i will be quite frank and say that we have grave doubts about the way in which those elections were conducted, and i think even the united nations, which is generally a very cautious about its remarks has admitted that the elections of 2010 were deeply flawed, and the government was a result of these elections. it was made up largely of previous members of the military. many of them, in fact, had been in the government, just until a few months before the elections, when they left the military to contest as members of the assembly.
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the change brought about in 2010 was questioned by very many who felt it is not enough just to have elections, which, as i mentioned earlier, were considered to be deeply flawed and where they had a so-called elected civilian government. the democratic institutions had to be built, and the world was interested in finding out how this process was going to go, and the united states, in particular, was interested in how far on the path to democracy in burma was actually going to go. i would say that the real changes came about in 2011. i was released towards the end
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of 2010, but my party was then operating as an unregistered political party, or shall we say de-registered. we were contesting the elections of 1990, where we won over 80% of the seats, but the results of the election were not honored, so we remained, with great difficulty, as a political party, still registered but not allowed to operate as a political party. during those years, i would say that u.s.-burma bilateral relations were democracy to democracy rather than government to government. in 2010, things began to change a little. >there was a greater push toward
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democracy in. we had refused to take part in the 2010 elections. to take part in the 2010 elections, our party would have been obliged to expel all of its members who were under detention, including myself. and also, we would have been obliged to reject the results of the 1990 elections. moreover, we would have taken an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of 2008.
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this is a constitution which we felt was not conducive to the building of a genuine democratic society. apart from the fact of the unelected military representatives to take part in all of the assemblies, from the national to the local level, it also provided for the commander-in-chief to take over all powers of government at any time that he considered necessary for the sake of the country. for this and other reasons, we felt that we could not take the oath to defend and protect the 2008 constitution. and i think to all of us, when you read the constitution, you just do not read the body of the constitution. you should read the appendices as well, which i have to say we did to begin with. we have to re-read them. and when the president made it possible for our country, for our party to be we registered, it was done on the understanding that the
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regulations of the elections and for party registration be changed so that we would not have to expel any of our members that were under detention, and secondly, we would have to agree to abide by it and respect the constitution. i think everybody has to do that in every country. and also, there was a statement to the effect that the 1990 elections had been one, so this amounted to a withdrawal of the necessity to reject the results of the 1990 elections. well, we went in for the bi- elections last april, a few months ago.
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we contested 45 seats. these were the seats vacated by members of the government, because under the constitution, if you become a member of the government, you have to vacate your parliamentary seat. so we contested 44 of them. we had won 43 of them, and we lost one, and this has made us the biggest opposition party in the national assembly, and when you consider that there are all together 651 members, 44 is not too much. but we found, we had forgotten to look into the words of the votes that we would have to take. -- the words of the oath we would have to take.
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these remain the same as the previous election. we had to undertake to defend and protect the constitution. there was a lot of soul- searching over this. we wondered whether on principle we should refuse to do this, but politics is about compromise. it's about being practical. it's about being down to earth. and to do what is best under the circumstances. the people were very anxious for us to get in the national assembly. they understood the wording of the oath, but still the great majority of our people wanted us to enter the national assembly and represent them in the legislative process. on top of that many of the ethnic national parties that already had representatives within the national assembly were keen for us to join them because they felt that this would strengthen us as -- i do
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not know whether i should refer to them as opposition parties, but certainly they felt that they could work together with us and that to a certain extent we could counter the overwhelming influence of the union solidarity and development party which had won. -- which had won over 80% of the seats. we talk about this and in the end i decided that as we were the ones who had made the mistake of not looking through all the appendices carefully, we would have to confess our mistake and to respect the will of the people who had voted for us and also to respect the desire of our friendly parties to work with us. we decided to take the oath. we decided to take the oath.

News of the Day Politics
CSPAN September 23, 2012 1:10am-2:00am EDT


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